Given the current scenario across the world, where new coronavirus cases are emerging every second, and people are asked to maintain social distancing to control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), it has become more crucial now to stay informed about the health condition of your own and the closed ones. While most of us abide by the “use mask when in public” and “sanitize and wash hands frequently” measures, the growing number of cases and the lifting of the lockdown is something that still rings warning bells every time we step out of our house.
One way, for some people, especially those with underlying morbidity, is to use something like a Pulse Oximeter to stay informed about the blood-oxygen saturation (SpO2) and the pulse rate. However, much like hand sanitizers and face masks, two of the most sold and in-demand products for the past few months across the world, Pulse Oximeters are also hard to get these days. To add to that, there are a plethora of brands and options to choose from, which makes things even more confusing. So, to make buying easier here’s a list of some of the best Pulse Oximeters you can get online.
What is an Oximeter?
Before we begin, here’s a quick primer on Pulse Oximeter: a Pulse Oximeter is a device that relies on Pulse Oximetry — a noninvasive method that provides information about the oxygen saturation in your body and the pulse rate. Being noninvasive, the method does not involve surgical procedures to carry out the tests. Instead, it requires a device, called the Pulse Oximeter, to be placed on a thin part of the body like a fingertip, earlobe, or toe.
Once placed on one of these body parts, the device relies on transmissive pulse oximetry, in which it passes two wavelengths of light (red and infrared) through the body part to a sensor on the other side of the probe. Now, depending on how saturated is your haemoglobin (present in the blood), it absorbs different amounts of light. And the sensor, on the other side of the probe, determines the same by reading the amount of light absorbed. In addition, the device also shows the pulse rate, which can change depending on the blood saturation levels, among other reasons.
With the coronavirus (COVID-19), one of the symptoms happens to be pneumonia — a condition that results in lungs being filled up with fluids. As a result, the heart struggles to maintain an adequate level of oxygen, and eventually ends up with high levels of carbon dioxide within the body, leading to severe complications and the need for external oxygen supply. To avoid this, one of the ways that some of the doctors suggest is to use a Pulse Oximeter, which helps you determine the blood saturation levels and pulse rate instantaneously. Especially, if you (or your closed ones) happen to have underlying morbidities, the device can come in handy to keep a check on the two parameters, to look for warning signs — if, any.
Please note that the first section talks about the best Oximeter to buy in the US followed by the best Oximeter to buy in India.
Best Pulse Oximeter (in the US)
1. Innovo Deluxe iP900AP Pulse Oximeter
The Innovo Deluxe iP900AP oximeter features an OLED screen and runs on two AAA batteries. It provides SpO2 and pulse rate and also includes the perfusion index (PI) and plethysmograph, two features that significantly improve the reliability of the readings. However, the company suggests that, in some cases, where the user’s fingers are relatively smaller, the sensor might not work properly. Besides, the oximeter includes a lanyard for convenient carrying and features an auditory alarm, which goes off when the readings go beyond the set limit range.
2. SantaMedical Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
Another pulse oximeter in the list comes from SantaMedical, and the company suggests its offering to be clinically tested, with results offered within 8 to 10 seconds. The device includes an LED display that provides a detailed look into the readings for both SpO2 and pulse rate, along with the battery strength. It runs on two AAA batteries, which the company claims can offer 30+ hours of continuous monitoring. Besides, the oximeter also has a neck/wrist lanyard to make it easier to carry around the device.
3. CONTEC CMS50NA Pulse Oximeter
CONTEC’s CMS50NA is a compact pulse oximeter that is lightweight, easy to carry, and yet effective when it comes to tracking your blood saturation levels and pulse rate. The device features an LED display, with a protective layer on top to protect it against scratches. And, it also offers adjustable brightness so you can adjust it to your liking. Similarly, another neat offer that it offers is the option to return the product within 30 days from the date of purchase, which can prove to be useful in case the device goes faulty. The oximeter requires two AAA batteries and comes with low-battery indication and auto-off functionality that reduces unnecessary battery usage.
4. CHOICEMMED Finger Pulse Oximeter
One more option for a compact and tiny pulse oximeter that is portable and yet offers accurate readings for SpO2 and pulse rate comes from CHOICEMMED. It features a single button to simplify operations and has a display upfront to get a glance at the readings and the battery level. The device runs on two AAA batteries, and the company promises up to 30 hours of monitoring out of one set. Due to its tiny form factor, the probe makes it suitable to be used with children (or those with smaller fingers) as well. As for other additions, you get a carrying case within the box along with a neck lanyard that makes carrying it
5. ATMOKO Pulse Oximeter Fingertip
ATMOKO’s offering for pulse oximeter comes with a colored LED display with 5 levels of brightness adjustment and runs on two AAA batteries. The display aids with offering all the relevant information about the blood saturation levels (SpO2) and pulse rate readings. As per the company, it takes the device only 10 seconds to offer the readings accurately. It also suggests up to 30 hours of continuous usage, with the low-power mode kicking in to save unnecessary battery drain by powering it off after 5 seconds of inactivity. Similar to some of the other offerings in the list, the one from ATMOKO also comes with a lanyard within the box for convenient carrying.
6. Metene Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
The last option in the list comes from Metene, which comes with a transparent acrylic panel on the front and features a single button for operations. It provides both SpO2 and pulse ratings, readings for which are displayed on the acrylic display using LEDs. The device is compact and seems to be fairly light in feel, thus offering better portability. To add to that, you also get a lanyard to increase the convenience of carrying it around. The oximeter utilizes two AAA batteries and comes with low-power consumption to increase battery efficiency. Moreover, according to the company’s claims, the Metene pulse oximeter offers readings within ±2% accuracy in under 8 seconds.
Best Pulse Oximeter (in India)
1. Dr Trust Signature Series Pulse Oximeter
The Dr Trust Signature Series oximeter comes from Nureca Inc in the US. It features a small and portable design that is easy to carry and includes water resistance to withstand accidental water spills. The device is FDA and CE approved and comes with six months warranty, which can be registered on the manufacturer’s website within 15 days of purchase. It runs on two AAA batteries and automatically shuts down when not in use to reduce power consumption. Upfront, there is a colored LED display, which gives information about the findings along with the battery life. In terms of operability, the oximeter offers a real-time reading within 6 seconds for both the blood saturation levels (SpO2) and pulse rate. And it only includes a single button for performing operations to keep things simple.
2. Contec LED CMS50M Pulse Oximeter
Similar to Dr Trust’s Signature Series, the Contec CMS50M is another compact oximeter with easy-to-use functionality. It includes a neck/wrist strap to make it easier to carry around, which can come in handy for those who need to keep a check at regular intervals. The company suggests the device to be ideal for use by individuals and health care professionals, and the one-button operation justifies that by offering a much simpler way to get both SpO2 and pulse rate. Much like the previous option, the Contec CMS50M also requires two AAA batteries to power up, and it cuts down on unnecessary battery consumption by offering the 5s automatic power-off feature.
3. ChoiceMMed MD300C2 Pulse Oximeter
ChoiceMMed MD300C2 provides both SpO2 and pulse rate monitoring in a small, easy-to-carry footprint. It runs on two AAA batteries, like the other two options in the list, and offers low-power consumption to cut down on unnecessary battery usage. Moreover, it also automatically turns off the device when not in use. The oximeter has a colored LED display right up front that makes it easier to read out the readings. Similar to the Dr Trust Signature Series, the ChoiceMMed MD300C2 also suggests offering real-time readings under 6 seconds. Besides, the device comes with a silicon rubber boot to provide a better grip in hand and also offers a carrying case to make it convenient to carry.
4. BPL Smart Oxy Pulse Oximeter
BPL Electronics, a popular Indian electronics company, has its offering for blood saturation and pulse rater monitoring, called Smart Oxy Pulse Oximeter. It features a compact design to make carrying convenient and a colored OLED display that provides a better view of the readings along with other information like battery strength. Within the box, the device comes along with a lanyard and a pouch, similar to the previous oximeter on the list. It required two AAA batteries to power up, after which you can get SpO2 and pulse rate along with all the details. Moreover, another neat addition is the alarm feature, which kicks in with abnormal measurements. Not to mention, automatic power off, that reduces unnecessary usage and extends battery life.
5. Medtech Oxygard OG01 Pulse Oximeter
Medtech (formerly Nulife) has the Oxygard OG01 Pulse Oximeter, which is mostly the same as the other options on the list. It has a small and compact design that makes it easier to carry around. Although, unlike a couple of other offerings, it does not have a case or lanyard within the box. The device relies on two AAA batteries and provides details like the blood saturation levels (SpO2) and pulse rate, which can come in handy during the present times. It features a dual-color LED display on the front and comes with both automatic power off and low-power consumption features.
Those are our recommendations for some of the best pulse oximeters you can buy online as of now. While these devices claim to offer accurate readings for both saturation levels and pulse rates, you need to always be on the look for warning signs, which, in the case of coronavirus are not just restricted to hypoxia. Although that said, these indicators are of big help if you are beginning to notice some discomfort in breathing or frequent changes in your pulse rate.